Friday, November 09, 2007
Entrepreneur Starts Investigative Journalism Enterprise
Paul E. Steiger, editor at the Wall Street Journal is launching Pro Publica, an organization to produce and distribute investigative journalism to media outlets who've stopped producing the product themselves. See the Times story at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/15/business/media/15publica.html?pagewanted=all. Mr. Steiger's leap into media entrepreneurship is the clearest example I've yet seen of a media missionary doing what comes naturally to all entrepreneurs: perceiving an opportunity and acting on it. Granted, the revenue model seems to rely on cash infusions from Steiger's wealthy partners. But I see the potential for it to morph into a conventional sales model driven by a natural evolution in the business. In the same way that Henry Ford's original River Rouge model (produce every input of an automobile in a single plant) gave way to today's system of auto makers sourcing most parts, the emergence of Pro Publica looks like one of many suppliers to the news distribution sector. It's more efficient.